ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – Behind a career-high 20-point effort from junior Elizabeth Schwarz, the Bethel University women's basketball team hung on down the stretch for a 79-67 victory over Hamline in its MIAC opener Saturday afternoon inside the Robertson Center.
Denying the Pipers of a second half comeback while forcing 28 turnovers that turned into 28 points, the Royals reamin perfect on the season at 4-0 and 1-0 in MIAC play. BU returns to the hardwood for a road test at St. Olaf next Tuesday, Nov. 26 in Northfield. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.
Schwarz collected 10 rebounds for her third career double-double and was 7-of-9 from the floor. Junior Makenna Pearson led all scorers with a season-high 22 points, 12 of which came from long distance. Kat Brown-Erdal added 12 points while Taite Anderson collected eight rebounds.
A fast start saw Bethel race out to a 9-3 lead through the first five minutes. Hamline went on a 7-2 run pulling within one at the 2:50 mark in the first before Schwarz scored eight of Bethel's final 10 points for a 21-13 lead.
In a turnover heavy second quarter, the teams took advantage of the looks they got despite combining for 22 turnovers. BU pushed its lead to double digits keeping the Pipers off the scoreboard until the 6:35 mark. The Royals went on a three minute drought themselves before taking a 31-22 lead into the intermission.
Both teams traded buckets to open of the second half while Hamline got within four on a three occasions. The Pipers outscored BU 24-20 in the third cutting the Royals lead to 51-46.
With 5:20 left in the contest a layup from the Pipers capped a 9-3 run pulling them within 65-55. Jon Herbrechtsmeyer let his team ride the wave as the Pipers took the lead on a 3-ball with 4:46 left. The Bethel D forced an empty possession before scoring on back-to-back possession regaining the lead at 62-58.
A steal by Brown-Erdal that turned into a foul on the other end helped the Royals close it out from the charity stripe. Bethel sank its final 10 free throws while going 13-of-14 from the line in the final 10 minutes.
Story by Austin Lagesse, Bethel University Assistant Sports Information Director